Welcome back to your weekly Bachelor recap!

I had a lovely extra-long weekend celebrating me, myself, and I, all while coming to the realization that of the 32 women who started this season, I am older than 37.5%  of them. The average age of Matt’s contestants is 25.8 years old, so if you are wondering where I am around October of this year, don’t worry I’m just out competing for a Bachelor’s love (most likely…Ben? Joe ideally, but my money is on Ben) since according to ABC if I’m not married by then I might as well die alone. How’s that for the start of a quarter-life crisis?


I had some hope (slight, but it was there) that this would be the week we could catch up and have two rose ceremonies, but, alas, that did not happen.

We begin our night with a cocktail party. For those of you who have other things to fill your long-term memory with besides the Bachelor, we had Katie on the group date tell Matt that the house was going crazy and that he should probably address the toxicity before someone actually pulled a knife.

Matt slash the producer who wants him to look good takes this to heart and he opens the cocktail party by addressing the women, saying that his future wife is not the type of person who would besmirch the name of another to make themselves look better. I can’t quite tell if I believe that Matt actually believes he’s going to end up with one of these women long term and not just until the two-year mark has passed so he and his finalist can keep and sell the Neil Lane ring to make some extra money on the side, but I can assure him if he wants a woman who won’t talk shit about other people to get ahead he has signed up for the wrong show. Matt says he doesn’t know who the Regina George is, but takes Brittany aside to ask her who has been bullying her.

We proceed to get a BEAUTIFUL shot of Anna knowing her days are numbered.

Brittany calls out Anna – as she should – and tells Matt that Anna has been spreading rumors about her being an escort which is false (although even if they were sex work is still work and if Debra Messing could fall in love with an escort in 2004’s The Wedding Date then we shouldn’t judge Matt if he ended up with Brittany and it turns out she is an escort). Also I had a big crush on Dermot Mulroney in the 2000s after his appearance as Jennifer Aniston’s temporary love interest in Friends but that’s neither here nor there.

Matt then takes Anna aside and asks her if what Brittany says is true and I have to give Anna a little bit of credit for not even trying to pretend that she didn’t say it. She does the whole fake crying thing, she talks about how out of character it was for her (suuuuuuure) but nevertheless Matt James escorts her out, making him more attractive to viewers at home than he has been all season.

Matt is almost ready to pat himself on the back for solving bullying in America BUT WAIT girls tell him that Victoria is evil too. He brings her aside and asks her why she would call a fellow contestant a ‘ho’ because she is a professional dancer (coughraciallychargedlanguagecough) and Victoria claims it was ‘taken out of context.’ One-upping himself yet again, Matt asks Victoria in what context it is okay to call a woman a ho and we all just sit there while Victoria desperately – and is unable to – come up with an answer to that question.

We then cut right to the rose ceremony where Matt keeps a bunch of people and eliminates some others, none more important than Victoria. The other rejected girls say there goodbye but Victoria does a little standoff with him where she declares he’s making a mistake and not listening to hearsay. She then goes offffff to the camera people in her one on one where she declares she hates Matt so much now that she will never date a man named Matt again.

We get back to our regular schedule programming with a one-on-one. Rachael is bestowed upon the worst type of one-on-one date in my book: The Cinderella Date.

The Cinderella Date is by and far the WEIRDEST concept on this show. And that’s a tall order. Basically, it’s the date where the Bachelor picks one of his favorites, they go on a shopping date, and she gets to take home everything she tries on. I hate this date for multiple reasons. First things first, shopping is exhausting. As my mom would tell you, I do not have the stamina for it (and thus was forced to go frequently because ‘if you’re going to want to quit after four stores then you have to go more often’) and thus would after maybe 20 minutes be like can we just go to the dinner portion of the date? Does this store have a food court?

Secondly, what dude wants to just watch you try things on? Like I sometimes go shopping with friends and I genuinely care about them and want to support them but after maybe ten dresses I’m like I don’t know man they’re all the same just pick one. Also, Matt James tried on only one thing – at least when I go shopping with friends while they are doing stuff I can also try on clothes or sit on my phone playing a video game.

Thirdly, what even is the point? Like if the point is ‘spoiling’ the girl he is into (which also, weird, she’s not like your niece and nephew you bring chocolate to even though your sister said not to) it’s not like this is even his money? Like post-show Matt and Rachael aren’t just going to roll up to the mall and he’s going to buy her shoes with red soles. ABC is buying her whatever she wants. Which like, great for Rachael because even if she loses she still wins the most tangible goods, but let’s not pretend Matt James is dropping a black card out here to get the girl of his dreams whatever she wants.

Rachael then has to do a weird modern day version of the walk of shame where she comes back with more shopping bags than the other girls have suitcases. She also shows off her shoes that look kinda like this but maybe strappier(?) which retail for a super reasonable $745. All the girls are more jealous of Rachael’s new things than of her relationship with Matt.

Rachael then has an evening date which is super whatever. She seems incredibly boring but reminds me of how boring Matt can sound. The only wild part is when she says she’s falling in love with Matt and Matt says it back and I’m wondering wtf he and Ben Higgins talked about last week because that was basically how Ben got skewered by America for a bit but…okay?

We then advance to the group date, which is making the girls farm.

This is also uneventful – the women try to milk a goat, some pigs fight them, etc. The only interesting part to me was when MJ (soon to be the villain) and Matt are doing a cute game of chase and then he runs away from her and interrupts Pieper’s interview and they aggressively make out. And listen, I’m not defending MJ for being evil whatsoever in this episode later. But I would be sliiiiightly sympathetic to the villain origin story if it started at this moment where Matt bounces from girl to girl like each of them are interchangeable to him instead of her being actually evil last week also.

Other than that moment in the evening portion of the date Abigail and Matt have a wonderful conversation where she talks about her being deaf and having children and the realities that their children might be deaf. She also talks about how her father left when it turned out she and her sister were deaf and Matt talks about growing up without his father and they kiss and it’s cute. Abigail gets the group rose.

We then get our final 1on1 of the evening, Kit. Since all the girls are on the group date excepting Kit and Rachael, Rachael reads the date card.

Kit and Matt spend the evening cooking. Or baking. The distinction is not clear. Matt makes up some shit about how he always orders dessert first when he goes out to eat which I doubt he’s ever actually done in his life, and Kit talks about how the kitchen was a place for her and her mom to connect. For the record, Kit is from a famous family, as her mom is Cynthia Rowley, an American fashion designer. Her clothes are almost as affordable as the shoes Rachael got on her date, because why save money when you can get this bucket hat for $90.

I’m not really sure where I fall on the Kit liking scale. On one hand, she’s 21 and obviously is not on this show for marriage. She also has an insane amount of privilege – but while part of her sounded like she was boo-hooing how she is so privileged (talking about how her life is all gold Bentleys and red carpets) I can also respect how she acknowledges her privilege and talks about how dating is hard being in her situation. While not explicitly said, I got ‘do the guys I date love me for me, or because my mom’s net worth is $100 million dollars?’ vibes. So I’m on the fence. I plan on never needing to form an opinion because she will surely be kicked off shortly, even though she got a rose at the end of this date.

We then flash back to the house prior to the rose ceremony. MJ asks everyone who ratted her out to Matt and Jessenia makes a surprise opponent as she calls MJ out for being the spirit of Victoria’s new host. They go back and forth with MJ basically confirming that she is feeling waaaaay too overconfident she was skipped during the bullying purge earlier this episode and is like why do you have to bring up things in the past as though they didn’t happen maybe five days ago.

Production gets wind that they can radicalize a new villain, so they send a date card to the house, telling Jessenia and MJ that they are to arrive early to the cocktail party to figure out ~the truth~.

My favorite part in all of this is how it’s not at all like a typical two on one. Usually we have two people who have an argument and they have wildly different opinions on how something went down. Last season we had the Noah ‘Bennett is elitist’ and Bennett ‘Noah is immature.’ During JoJo’s season we had Chad ‘Alex isn’t letting me say whatever I want’ and Alex ‘Chad is literally threatening to murder me via dismemberment.’ Here we have Jessenia ‘MJ is a bully’ and MJ ‘Jessenia told Matt I’m a bully.’ Like MJ isn’t even trying to deny she’s a bully, it’s more of an ‘I’m mad you tattled on me’ vibe.

They make the girls sit together until Matt eventually shows and they verbally spar some. MJ keeps shouting variations of Live Laugh Love and how she’s leading by example and how it’s so rude that Jessenia is talking over her when MJ interrupts her. Jessenia looks somewhat amused she’s here, is entertained by the fact MJ is losing touch with reality as they sit, and has an ICONIC moment. The absolute best part of this entire episode is when Jessenia full-on leans into the fact their every move is being documented. She tells MJ that Matt will see how mean she is and soon all will America when the show airs and she LOOKS DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA AND SMIRKS DURING IT. I am now zero percent convinced Jessenia ever said something to Matt and production asked the girls who would be willing to go toe to toe with MJ and she volunteered. Jessenia is now one of my favorites.

We naturally leave on a cliffhanger because why should we expect to be treated well by ABC and we get a preview featuring Matt’s actual bestie Tyler C. from Hannah Brown’s season (and the only reason he is our Bachelor, let’s be totally honest).

Here’s to another week!


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